Ever heard of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin? You have? Smartie pants. Do you know what they are? Hormones? Close, but not quite. They’re neurotransmitters.
Now, next questions.
1) What’s a neurotransmitter, and 2) why should you care? I’m happy to tell you, and it just might change your life.
What Are Neurotransmitters and Why Should You Care?
First, what are they?
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that move impulses from one place to another and affect functions in the body like appetite, mood, and heart rate.
To put it even more simply, neurotransmitters are the homing pigeons of the brain - little messengers that carry signals from Point A to Point B.
But really, why should you care?
Because life is full of transitions, surprises, stresses, and tragedies that wreak havoc on our insides and outsides, and knowing how to help yourself and others, specifically children, can and will make a world of difference.
When neurotransmitters work harder than they’re supposed to day after day, say because of trauma or worry, and become exhausted, the normal functions in the brain are interrupted. And when the brain - the organ that controls everything - is compromised, it can cause confusing and sometimes challenging behaviors in children and adults alike.
How Can I Make Sure My Neurotransmitters Are Working Properly?
We educate families we work with about neurotransmitters and encourage testing for many of them to be sure the homing pigeons are taking off and landing like they’re supposed to.
While it may sound a bit sci-fi, there’s a relatively easy and inexpensive way to evaluate what’s happening with your neurotransmitters.
We rely on Wellnicity, a company that provides at-home tests to find out what’s really going on in the body.
Based on results, clinicians provide a plan of recommended vitamins and supplements to help neurotransmitters get back to their happy selves and improve brain function.
So, do you or does someone you know…
- Feel anxious or sad or hungry all the time?
- Have trouble sleeping?
- Struggle to focus?
Neurotransmitters could be to blame. They were in my case.
A few years back, during an especially chaotic time in my life, I tested my own neurotransmitters and the results were eye-opening. All four neurotransmitters that regulate mood were not just depleted, but their back-up reserves were depleted too.
Frankly, not only was I teetering awfully close to depression, but some of my levels were comparable to psychosis.
Psychotic? Me? Outwardly, I was mostly functioning like a healthy, well-adjusted adult who was in a rough patch, but my neurotransmitters told a very different and alarming story.
Even the late and great Dr. Karyn Purvis, world-renowned for her trauma-based research, reviewed my test results, and said my numbers showed I could be depressed and needed help. Yesterday.
After only a few weeks of recommended natural supplements, I was nearing my normal self. After six months, I felt like a new person.
So, speaking from experience, both personal and professional, consider learning more about neurotransmitters and how they might be affecting you and your family. It just might change your life.